Understanding Social Networks and Social Capital in Religious Congregations

Team Members/Contributors

Nathan R. Todd DePaul University Contact Me

About this award

The proposed project is to collect social network data from three religious congregations to better understand the personal social networks within congregations, the resources available to attendees through these networks, and how the congregation itself is linked with other community-based organizations. A summary of project findings will then be delivered to each congregation through a written report and verbal presentation to provide useful data to aid in congregational decision making. Because social network analysis produces visual displays of networks within congregations, this analytic tool holds promise to communicate social network findings in a useful and meaningful way to a congregational audience. Undergirding the entire project is the goal of better understanding how to collect data and present findings to congregations in such a manner to promote critical reflection on congregational life and practice. The project will positively impact the work of the principle investigator by enabling him to work with congregations as part of his research and will provide invaluable experience in learning how to effectively consult with congregations to provide useful data to inform congregational reflection and decision making.